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Poster: He Live's Date: Dec 7, 2008 6:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

Dark Star > Eyes of the World > China Doll

This stunning combination of songs was only performed by the Grateful Dead 4 times. All in the year of 1973. Dark Star and China Doll appeared in the same show only 6 times; Dark Star and Eyes of the World, 21 times; Eyes of the World and China Doll 40 times. Throughout 1973 and 1974 Eyes of the World>China Doll were almost always a pair, certainly one of the most profound combinations Jerry would ever offer -- the pastoral lyrics and far reaching improvisation of eyes of the world could transport the listener to a new plane of consciousness, somewhere between Pure Joy and Nirvana.... this rocketship to the heavens would eventually tumble back to earth and land softly on the plaintive, opening strains of China Doll -- where Jerry would caress our fragile nervous systems with one of his most beautiful weavings of poetry and melody.

Starting this amazing journey with the band's greatest collective freeform exploration of humanity/spirituality/transcendence-- DARK STAR -- it is no wonder they only attempted this divine combination four times. Perhaps it would have been tempting fate to go to this well a fifth time. The four renditions of this unique, far ranging exploration of the metaphysical stand as monuments to the fact that these guys were not the first "jam band." They were for once and always and forever -- the greatest Metaphysical Poets the world has ever known.


DANE COUNTY COLISEUM, Madison WI -- February 15, 1973:


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one of the truly stunning dark stars they ever played. this is a relatively friendly version... they do not go into any real scary spaces. in fact they are really feelin' groovy.... billy sounds amazing, at 4:00 -- using every single drum and cymbal at his disposal, a wonderful mix of deep Toms and cymbals.... they quiet to a hush at 6:00 and begin looking for routes upon which to begin the ascent.... finally out of a deep meditation, at 8:40 Phil introduces THE RIFF -- Billy is the first to pick up on it, keith is there at 9:00, they are locking in on something -- by 10 minutes they are off into uncharted waters -- i can't say enough about BK -- his playing is at the Zen level.... after the verses are sung PHIL takes over playing completely SOLO for about two minutes..... the bass solo comes to a blissful conclusion as Jerry comes back in at 18:13, WOW! what a NOTE!


ASSEMBLY HALL, University of Illinois, Champaig-Urbana -- February 22, 1973:


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they do not range too far out on dark star this night -- perhaps the crowd was giving off too much energy of their own.... and the boys could not get into the deep meditation space.... jerry begins pushing very hard at about 12:45 eventually ending up in a Tiger-type meltdown... this mania settles down and Jerry slides right into Eyes.... and likewise very quickly into the lyric, perhaps sensing that this crowd needs something to help it reaffirm that yes, we are still firmly planted on the ground... they really charge through the lyrics, the whole group singing IN FULL..... immediately after the last chorus is sung at 7:05 -- they head straight into extended improv territory.... it is a wash of bobby maniacally strumming and KEITH running up and down the keyboard bouncing between bobby's sustain and jerry's flow of lines..... they are working on the extended jam where they modulate about every 16 bars... 11:30, jerry starts playing the Slipknot-type riff that still gives us all fits.... they struggle through this passage and the last minute of eyes of the world is a mad thrash to the finish line. at last they mellow.... and the first strains of China Doll percolate to the surface.... Jerry's voice is very true and in tune -- he sings beautifully.


PORTLAND MEMORIAL COLISEUM, Portland OR -- JUNE 24, 1973


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nearly four months after their last attempt at this suite of songs the dead come out and open the second set with Dark Star! after 1969, this was only done a handful of times, at best... immediately they are on another plane.... whereas they played it very close to the theme, with the somewhat heavy handed attempt on 2/22... this night, from the first notes we are dropped into the solemn interior of the anteroom where our pilots are quietly readying themselves.... the five are ushered towards the portal by a man in a white coat. they pass in file through the doorway and the entry point closes behind them.... in a glow of orange light and steam they do not speak but work their way up the long flight of stairs, surrounded by the heavy metal infrastructure that will put them on a true course -- it is nearly sunrise. the moon hangs low on the horizon. they reach the top of the stairs and quietly get into the small capsule that sits atop the five story three stage rocket that will shoot them heaven bound....

at 6:35 PHIL introduces THE RIFF again -- the same one from 2/15 -- but here it is immediately seized upon by BILLY, BOBBY and JERRY.... they settle comfortably in and get to work..... the first stages of the rocket burn out and fall back to earth... they have broken through the upper atmosphere by 11:00 -- they have reached a new plane of being altogether.... they have never been here before.... they look through small round windows at the blue globe spinning in the distance, growing smaller by the second.... stunned by the G-Forces during launch, KEITH regains consciousness at about 11:30 -- and you can feel a surge of energy hit the group -- they are now acclimated to weightlessness. they settle into orbit at 14:30 -- billy takes the controls while the others make minor adjustments to their equipment. at 16 minutes.... Jerry reads the mission statement aloud:

Dark star crashes
pouring its light
into ashes

Reason tatters

the forces tear loose

from the axis

Searchlight casting

for faults in the

clouds of delusion

shall we go,

you and I

While we can?

Through
 the transitive
nightfall 
of diamonds

the capsule is virtually powerless now.... it is floating in space in an orbit of gravity's design, they pass around the far side of the moon, the earth disappears from view.... there is no sound.... the sense of loneliness and fear is overwhelming... only as earth comes back into view does the fear subside and human warmth again fills the capsule.... they know they are headed home....

having had a full four months to practice, they really nail Eyes of the World this night. the tricky ending jam is played with authority.... again, Jerry does not fail us and China Doll is a sweet lullaby.... it offers us a chance to float back to earth without a crash.....

WINTERLAND ARENA, San Francisco CA -- November 11, 1973

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so much has been said about this concert... in particular this wide ranging Dark Star... and it's long too, clocking in at 35 minutes plus. like their last attempt at this trio of songs the dead sound very comfortable, and certainly in the right head space from the outset. playing on their home turf, they certainly knew that they had the right audience -- willing to go on a journey, wherever it took them. but who could really prepare themselves for the meditation on sound and spirit our Metaphysical Poets would lead us through this night?

the conversation begins to take on a new dimension around the 9:30 mark as Bobby and Keith start pushing the music in a new direction. they have a special rapport going this night and they keep the magic carpet flying throughout Jerry's many probing runs, as he turns down every alley and side street between the Wharf and the heart of the Mission. the dark star space after the lyrics is very long and loose this night... they get the engines firing again around the 23 minute mark.... Jerry however, is still deliberately chasing his dark muse, as he lets some very mournful cries ring out through the 26 minute mark -- the rhythm sections pushes the tempo and plays a foil to jerry's cries with quick staccato hits -- a very frenetic jam persists through 31 minutes, until Bobby starts in on a very beautiful and appropriate Mind Left Body Jam at 31:13....

a very uplifting Eyes of the World>China Doll.... again, restores some psychic peace, and we are left changed and transported and you must say, Grateful indeed.

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(i know, mickey did not play on these tracks.)



This post was modified by He Live's on 2008-12-08 02:03:32

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Poster: deyzof49 Date: Dec 8, 2008 3:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

thanks for the beautiful post. I'm in 77 at the moment but will head on down to 73 presently. the Winterland picture delights me.

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Poster: wineland Date: Dec 7, 2008 3:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

Thank you He Live's. Another wonderfully enlightening post. I grabbed the Dane County show. Somehow I didn't have that in my collection!?! Shame on me. Happy holidays to you.

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Poster: iowagreg Date: Dec 8, 2008 10:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

boy, oh, boy...the Dane Cty show has been one of my favorites b/c of the Dark Star>Eyes>China Doll. Beautiful space and exploratory sounds.

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Poster: Rings&Bells Date: Dec 7, 2008 4:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

Great post! For some reason, I thought that Dark Star>Eyes>China Doll was far more played than that. I guess that just makes it all the more special. Considering I've only heard two of the four, I definitely need to get on those other two.

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Dec 7, 2008 4:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

what a fantastic Post! i'm deep into the 11/11 sequence right now and things are looking mighty exploratory ... Dark Star Crashes indeed!

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Poster: He Live's Date: Dec 7, 2008 5:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

hey arb! haven't heard from you too much recently.... good to see you round here...

and thanks to rings and wineland for the replies.... all 4 versions of the trio is a must hear. previously i knew the 2/15 and 11/11 versions.... which are Deep. the DISCOVERY for me was the version from June 24 -- i really enjoyed that a lot... i would say that stands as my favorite of the four...

1. 6/24
2. 2/15
3. 11/11
4. 2/22

of course that order is subject to change.....

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Poster: high flow Date: Dec 7, 2008 6:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

I'm the green one.

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Poster: He Live's Date: Dec 7, 2008 6:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

the alien or the lizard?.... hello mr flow!

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Poster: high flow Date: Dec 7, 2008 8:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

The Cactus! Coo-coo-ka-choo....

Awesome post. Thanks.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 7, 2008 6:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

Damn! That was impressive! I do find this the singularly attractive aspect of my journey to post 71 material...not quite there for me to the level of MotMoon-->DS, but along the same lines...makes that 73 purchase worth it all in the end. Thx HeLives!

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Poster: wineland Date: Dec 7, 2008 7:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

Tell, for xmas I'd like to give my Uncle 4 or 5 shows from early Dead, 65-75. Can you give me a top 10 so I can hunt them down?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 7, 2008 7:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

Sure, here is what I did recently:

65: used the Birth of the Dead stuff (studio of the Nov stuff).

66: used 9-16, plus some of the "oddities download" that has most of the early tunes, from 66, again, many studio.

67: used 3-18 and 10-22 and that was enough!

68: used 10-12, but could've used 12-29 if the person is ready for fire!

69: used 11-8, but 2-27 or 4-5 are good choices.

70: used 9-19, but 5-1, 6-7 or 9-20 are obvious alternatives.

71: tough: can used 2-18, 4-28, 7-2, 8-6 or 11-7.

72: note confident, but can use 8-24 or close to that date. Or, an April Euro show.

73: would use one of the 11-13 or close by boxed set shows.

Other folks can give far better selections for 72 & 73.

74: Ask Helives, but maybe one of the Winterland, Oct nights?

75: I would use 6-17 but others might pick the Aug Vault release...tight!

Have fun!

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Poster: wineland Date: Dec 8, 2008 10:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

Right on! Thank you. I'll have to see what I have and go on a torrent tirade for the rest. Will take your top picks carte blanch. I figured 10.12.68 was going to be on there, and rightly so!

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Poster: He Live's Date: Dec 7, 2008 7:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

man, you are hardcore dude!... i can see how there "could" be a line there -- like if you are really deep into all the early material (66-69)... there would be a point where the band crosses the line with the cowboy songs and turns away from PCM.... i can see that.

but if you are willing to go into 71... why then aren't you getting more of what you love most in 72-73?.... i mean it's not PCM anymore, maybe i could see there being a feeling that they got too "jazzy" in 72.... but to me the Eras are:

66-69
70-73 (74)
75-78
79-82

and then OK, we get to My Line... but as i see you, you go right up to 73, IF you are gonna acknowledge 71 as acceptable, you gotta go the rest of the way! (as for 74, i'll figure it out some day... i like some of the shows, but it is not a year i gravitate to.)

cheers WT, good to hear from you!



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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 7, 2008 8:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

Yep, it is inexplicable, ain't it? Getting there my friend!

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Dec 7, 2008 6:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

yup, thanks for bringing me out of my semi-retirement; to be honest, i don't give '73 its just due, largely because i look at the setlists and they're just so good, that they're actually daunting to ponder, and so i keep thinking i'm just not in the 'right' frame-of-mind for so wild a ride, ya know?

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Poster: He Live's Date: Dec 7, 2008 7:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

i think you have the capacity arb.... you obviously love the music in a big way....

i don't know, well.... it's my birth year so that has something to do with it -- but i have always gravitated to 73. in a sense, i know what you mean about the setlists.... but the GD for me has always been about living in a dream world. and i find the pastoral dreamworld that they cultivated with WAKE OF THE FLOOD and the presentation of the material in 1973 very appealing...

i took this picture today (i linked it to one of my favorite, most appropriate GD album covers):

Photobucket

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Poster: wineland Date: Dec 7, 2008 7:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

That 11/11-13/73 is in the top 5 list of runs, might even top the charts. Do you have the release from Rhino? Is it worth it if I have the SBDs already?

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Dec 8, 2008 4:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: MORE STARS (setlist curiosities)

Very interesting post....
It seems like doing Dark Star>Eyes>China Doll only four times makes it a rare trio - but they did Dark Star>Eyes>Stella Blue only THREE times!
6-30-73
10-25-73
12-6-73
There's a twist on 10-30-73, with Dark Star>Stella Blue>Eyes>Weather Report Suite. (They wouldn't do a Dark Star>Stella Blue again until 7-25-74!)
And sometimes they put a different surprise at the end of Eyes:
2-26-73 - Dark Star>Eyes>Mississippi Half-Step
3-21-73 - Dark Star>Eyes>Wharf Rat
3-28-73 - Dark Star>Eyes>Playing in the Band
12-18-73 - Weather Report Suite>Dark Star>Eyes>Wharf Rat
And this unusual twist should be mentioned:
8-1-73 - Dark Star>El Paso>Eyes>Morning Dew
Dark Star>Morning Dew was done only twice in '73, if my memory's right (9-11-73 and 10-19-73) - although in '74 it would become a bit more common with three appearances (2-24-74, 9-10-74, and 10-28-74).
And, getting back to China Doll, there was only one time that song came out of Dark Star:
5-14-74 Weather Report Suite>Dark Star>China Doll

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Poster: He Live's Date: Dec 8, 2008 8:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: MORE STARS (setlist curiosities)

hey lia.... rarities abound! i was thinking of eyes>china doll as the common denominator, seeing as jerry tied them together so often.... in 1973 China Doll ONLY appeared out of eyes.... it mostly stayed that way through 74. thereafter china doll would appear most often in the second set after drums, no longer exclusively tied to eow...

eyes of the world>china doll was such a key component to the 73 sound, putting the dark star in front pushed the whole thing over the top....

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Poster: deyzof49 Date: Dec 8, 2008 4:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: MORE STARS (setlist curiosities)

the day just gets better and better.

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Poster: AshesRising Date: Dec 24, 2008 9:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

He Lives:
....yes, He does live!!! ...nowadays I've been messing around with the juxtaposition of "Ripple" and "Attics of My Life" .....'cuz I got no wings to fly ....like a bird without a song ...or a soul without no Self. .... brutal, brutal life, my West coast friend; absolutely gut-wrenching brutal beauty.

Do you have any idea how I am supposed to respond when strangers say "Merry Christmas" to me? Earlier today I just stared back at them speechless --- it didn't seem to be an appropriate response. What am I supposed to say or do?

Thanks, He Lives .....Bread of Life......where all the print is blood,
--- AshesRising

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Poster: He Live's Date: Dec 26, 2008 8:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

hey brother! do you have computer access or were you just stopping by?

either way.... i hope you get some pain free days when you can relax a little.

i started making a vid after i got your message... but it took me a day to figure it out and get it up on youtube.... and this is my second stripped down effort.... i am going to try and do something else later.... maybe by the time you get this message i will put up some more stuff.


be well Ashes!


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Poster: AshesRising Date: Dec 26, 2008 9:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

....got a computer for the time-being.... I will check-out the video later tonight when the world is asleep. Thank You.

Are you at the same address as last year?

--- AshesRising

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Poster: He Live's Date: Dec 26, 2008 7:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

oh great! i am glad to hear that... yes i am indeed at the same address @comcast.fucking rip off!

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Poster: Jerrob Hungar Date: Dec 31, 2008 5:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

Hello AshesRising

Here we are again, like Dr Spasmodious, looking out over the edge of another year, wondering "What sort of year will this coming year be?"
I've been trying to think of some suitable words to let you know I'm thinking of you and wishing you well but all I could think of were the good doctors words...

"Welcome my child to life again,
to the kingdom of hope and pain.
Let two thousand and nine arrive;
may grace prevail and we survive!"

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Poster: veblen Date: Dec 7, 2008 6:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

thanks He Live's, that is a good post and has me changing my evening listening plans...

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Poster: tigerbolt Date: Dec 7, 2008 7:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

kick ass post and spot onPhotobucket
Photobucket

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Poster: whirlwind dreamer 65-95 Date: Dec 7, 2008 7:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

wowie zowie tigerbolt!! i never seen that pic. yeah 73 is sweet!! spec. eyes!!

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Poster: He Live's Date: Dec 7, 2008 7:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

hey tbolt!

i was just replying to ARB about how i love 73 and the Wake of the Flood material, etc.... and there you are with yet another killer pic, with a big WOF banner over the stage! SWEET!... thanks man!

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Poster: shorthopper88 Date: Dec 8, 2008 9:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

WOW! your quite a writer! what an interesting, educational, and in depth look at some of the deads best music. Keep it coming!

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Poster: jackstraw86 Date: Dec 7, 2008 6:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

He Lives,
Thanks again for a wonderful post. I've not chimed on one of yours before but they are truly appreciated. You always do a fantastic job, a poet/commentator all rolled into one. I love it! Ashes is another who does a fantastic job wrapping up a song/show/period in such a way.

Just wanted to know that your posts such as this are really appreciated.

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Poster: He Live's Date: Dec 7, 2008 6:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: METAPHYSICAL POETS (Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll)

appreciate that. cheers to you and yours!